Idiazábal cheese is a cheese from Spain, made of sheep’s milk. It has a buttery texture and a smoky flavor. If aged for a longer time, it can have a hard texture and sharper flavor. It is often eaten with quince jam.
It is prepared with unpasteurized whole milk of sheep, and specific enzymes are used for the coagulation process. Smoking can optionally be done after aging is completed. The rind is rubbed with salt to give the cheese a salty taste. The cheese comes in cylindrical shape, though it may sometimes be of cone or octagon shape. The cheese has a dense, solid interior and flavor of sheep’s milk.
Popular Idiazábal Cheese Recipes
Here are some popular Idiazábal cheese recipes-
- Idiazábal Cheese Sauce: This is prepared by boiling Idiazábal cheese with heavy cream. Sherry and salt are added to this. The sauce is used as a condiment with other dishes like piquillos.
- Baked Eggplant with Idiazábal cheese: For preparing this dish, egg plant is baked, and then topped with tomato sauce and a mixture of bread crumbs, grated cheese and olive oil. It is baked again till the cheese melts, and then removed from heat. The dish is garnished with anchovies.
Nutritive Value of Idiazábal Cheese
This variety of cheese is a rich source of calcium and hence beneficial for bones, teeth and conditions like osteoporosis. It is also known to provide relief from hypertension.